June is Gym and Fitness Month here on the Signpost Local Marketing Blog! This means that in addition to our usual posts with tips on connecting with customers, marketing strategy, and growing your business, we’ll be sharing insights specifically for gym owners, trainers, and fitness professionals. If that includes you, it’s time to whip your marketing into shape by getting the most out of these high-ROI techniques. If not, don’t worry, we’ll still be sharing our usual resources that can help you effectively market your local business. And keep your eyes peeled, your industry might be the one we feature next month!


marketing your gym or fitness business

As warmer weather rolls around the annual challenge to keep members focused on fitness begins. With summer around the corner, dreams of self-improvement and a beach-ready-body have either been achieved or dashed at this point. The change in seasons also brings more options for fun ways to stay active outdoors, which means more competition for your members’ engagement. Getting found by new customers and retaining current ones starts with your online presence. We’ll walk you through the best optimizations for your site and beyond, depending on the type of fitness business you run.

Download The Complete Gym & Fitness Marketing Cheatsheet

Gyms

With such a range of fitness options, gyms can accommodate a wide spectrum of workouts. Although that’s an asset you should highlight, this realization can be a bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to member acquisition and retention, because it requires a broader approach that might not be as focused or targeted as some other specialty options. There will always be some new flashy fitness craze that sweeps the nation, so be sure that you keep your classes fresh and updated and more importantly, reflect your current offerings on your site.

On Your Website: Clearly display all information, including hours, amenities (locker rooms, saunas, showers, juice bars, etc.), all pricing options and class schedules. Include testimonials and quotes from current members that highlight what makes your gym special. Include a form where those looking for a free one-week pass can submit their information in order to take your gym for a test drive. Be sure to request their email and cell phone number so that you can put a communications plan into place that will keep them engaged and motivated during their trial. If you require members to reserve spots for popular classes, make sure they are able to do so on your website, so they don’t need to call ahead every time.

You can also start a blog to share your expertise on various fitness routines. Show off your skills with short videos that show your audience how they can combine activities to target specific muscle groups or problem areas. Feature a different member who epitomizes dedication to getting and staying in shape. Give him or her a special edition t-shirt or accessory, and include details about their favorite machine, trainer, class, etc. to motivate others.

Beyond Your Site: Promote new and current classes on your social pages. Focus your efforts on social networks that can show off your results and facilities and are more visual. You should have short how-to videos on YouTube and Instagram to show off your trainers’ skills, as well as more general motivation and info on your Facebook business page. Although it might not be the first one to come to mind, do maintain a presence on Google My Business, as that can do wonders for your SEO efforts, and help your gym be found when potential members are searching for gyms in the area.

Encourage members to share photos on Google and Instagram, and award the best a free gift or month pass for a friend to join them! This not only gets them more involved and invested in your gym, as a member of the community there, but also sets up an easy referral that you should try to convert into a paying member at the end of the month. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different weight-loss challenges that pit either different companies on your corporate accounts against each other, or just individuals working towards a joint goal for a fun competition. Advertise all events across your social pages and website.

Trainers

For personal trainers, regardless of whether or not you’re working out of a specific gym, it’s all about establishing your personal brand. It’s important to focus on and articulate your personal story and approach to exercising. Unlike a gym or a specialty workout, you’re selling yourself and need prospective clients to trust in your ability to coach them and help them achieve their goals.

On Your Website: Don’t shy away from including information about yourself on your site. Tell your story and share how you were inspired to start this business. Unlike other industries, fitness professionals exude a passion for the subject that is contagious. Share your approach and philosophy in a detailed “About” section that will provide a proper introduction to your program.

When it comes to proving results, quotes are a nice way to have clients speak to your coaching style and personality, but probably not enough to cut it on their own. Create and share case studies or more robust profiles for clients who have been guided to success. Clearly list their goals, the duration of the time you’ve been working together, and any results. Feel free to add any supporting information that might be helpful, such as Fitness Businesses: How to get found by more new customersmuscle groups targeted or general approach. Quotes and case studies should work together to give prospective clients a comprehensive look into what they can expect when they sign up with you.

Maintain a blog with expert advice on different workouts, and you can broaden the scope to address other aspects of  wellness. If you like to cook, include great healthy, clean-eating recipes to help complement your clients’ journeys towards a healthier lifestyle. Make sure to have a form to collect email addresses that you can send out newsletters to, as well as exclusive promotions. You can do this on both your blog for those looking to subscribe for more insights, and also on your main site for those who are interested in finding out more about working with you

Beyond Your Site: Show off clips from productive sessions on Instagram and Facebook, and encourage your clients to do the same. As they document their journey, make sure they tag your official business account so that their friends can easily see who is helping them attain these results. Make sure to take a series of photos at the beginning, and at specific junctures along the way so that you can use them to benchmark their progress. Celebrate milestones, and make them special so that they’ll want to share them with friends, family and on social media. Explain the value of third-party reviews to your business and encourage them to post on Yelp, Facebook or other sites where your clients find you.

You can also create and post motivational messages to keep your clients focused on what they’re working towards.

Specialty Workouts (Barre, Zumba, Crossfit, etc.)

These are a slightly different beast, as there tends to be a very specific and well-defined approach to these exercise regimens. Chances are that many people have at least heard of this type of workout, and have varying degrees of familiarity with it. Make sure you aim to educate on the research behind these approaches and dispel any misconceptions people might have.

On Your Website: You should include any recommended language and messaging, but also include your vision on how your business will approach and execute the program. Learning a new workout can be intimidating, so try to provide as much context and transparency, so that interested parties will know precisely what they’re signing up for. This will aid in retention later on, when they find that the practice aligns with their expectations. Demystifying the experience will inspire confidence that this approach can be a good fit for them.

On your blog continue to provide resources on getting started, with a cheat sheet or guide to prepping for their first class. Familiarize them with reps, sequences, or movements they might not be comfortable with, so they’ll feel more assured when the time comes for them to take their first class. Make sure that all classes are prominently displayed, and include information on different skill levels so they can select the right option. Include profiles on your instructors so they can learn more about them, their backgrounds, and interests and start to feel like they’re a part of your community.

Beyond Your Site: Highlight the aspects that make your specialty unique on social media. Continue to educate people on your approach, and to dispel any myths. Consider hosting AMA’s (Ask Me Anything) to address specific questions or hesitations. Members of these clubs tend to be great advocates, so join conversations taking place on social media, and weigh in on best practices and techniques. Tap these same advocates to share and post about your program, and motivate others to start their journey. Utilize popular hashtags so that advocates can easily find and engage with your content.